The United Reformed Church Chesham

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August/September 2016 Newsletter

Dear Friends,

Summer – warm weather, breaks from routine and time to relax! It would be great if everyone had this opportunity, but it is a dream that is often not reality.

Four years ago we enjoyed hosting the Olympics in London. There was a great atmosphere of celebration, not least due to the presence of all the volunteers. Now we are waiting for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics to start at the beginning of August. It is a wonderful opportunity for the world to come together to celebrate the talents of all the men and women participating. I am sure we all pray that protests, drug accusations and fear of illness will not mar these games.

A great deal seems to have happened since I wrote in June. We are now in the process of leaving the European Union. There is a lady Prime Minister and all the political parties are facing change. Harold Wilson allegedly said that ‘a week is a long time in politics’. Following recent events, it should possibly be reduced to five minutes. In the last weeks the attacks of terrorists have happened in unexpected places and many innocent people have died or been left injured. In some incidents mental illness seems to be a prime factor in causing the actions of the perpetrators. Generally people do not like a lot of changes and the things we have experienced recently may seem overwhelming. It is not surprising that we may feel confused, anxious, angry, distrustful, and fearful or may want to switch off the news completely.

The churches have been sent letters from national bodies advising them to keep alert, but to not be alarmed. It is important that we continue to witness to our faith and continue our usual way of life. There are shafts of light that come through the darkness. We need to focus on God and the promises of hope that come to us from the Gospels. If we let ourselves be overwhelmed by God then we will not fear what is happening in the world around us. There will be safety and peace in the arms of God. This is our assurance and peace.

The words from Romans 12 encourage us to love and have hope. 9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honour one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. 14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another.

I hope you will all find times to relax this summer and will feel refreshed to join in the activities that start again in September. Why not come along to a discussion group or join us for our Harvest celebration at the end of September.

With love,

Lord you taught us that we should love one another.
May we know you close when times are dark and see that your light points the way to a future hope.
May your peace surround us now and always. Amen